Americans love pets. About 44 percent of U.S. households have dogs and 35 percent have cats. We love them so much that we spent almost $67 billion last year to keep our pets healthy, happy and groomed.
Here’s another pet statistic that might surprise you: as many as three in 10 people with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs.
Why Am I Allergic to My Pet?
How can so many of us be allergic to such adorable creatures? It’s simple. Our body reacts to proteins in their saliva, urine and dander (dead skin cells).
Contrary to popular belief, pet hair itself is not an allergen. But fur does help spread all of these allergens around. Animal allergens are sticky, so they like to hang onto the fur. That fur then ends up on your clothes, on your carpet, under your furniture… well, pretty much everywhere.
What Types of Pets Are Hypoallergenic?
None of them. There is no such thing as a hypoallergenic cat or dog. And don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise.
Some people may be less sensitive to certain dog breeds, while reacting to others. Some people are also allergic to smaller furry pets like hamsters and guinea pigs.
I Love My Pet! Do I Have to Get Rid of It?
That depends. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), rehoming your pet is usually the best treatment. But if you want to keep your four-legged family member, there are a few things you can do.
- Use asthma & allergy friendly® Certified vacuums that have been scientifically proven to reduce allergens to clean up that pet hair often.
- Pet dander likes to hang out with dust too. Use asthma & allergy friendly® Certified cleaning products to remove the pet hair that lands on surfaces.
- Visit AAFA’s pet allergy page for steps on managing a pet allergy. They have more information on pet allergies and what you can do to manage your symptoms.